Crown Town Snubbed Again by Beard Awards
The 2015 James Beard Award semifinalists for the best chef and restaurant awards were announced a couple days ago, and it looks like the Queen City won’t be bringing home any Beards this year. Charleston got their usual handful of nominations, ranging from best wine program to best overall chef, and Atlanta made their normal splash with nominations ranging from outstanding pastry chef to best overall restaurant.
Although local restaurants may not have made the cut this year, it’s easy to see that they may be on the verge. With Heirloom, Passion8 and Heritage in Waxhaw, among others, Charlotte is merely some good press away from breaking onto the national culinary stage (aside from Guy Fieri’s love of the diner food).
Other North Carolinians got some nods, though. For best chef in the Southeast alone, North Carolina got 7 nominations (more than any other state in the category). They are: Katie Button, CĂşrate, Asheville; John Fleer, Rhubarb, Asheville; Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston;Â Scott Howell, Nana’s, Durham;Â Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani, Asheville; Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham; and Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough. Ashley Christensen of Poole’s Diner in Raleigh won Outstanding Chef – Southeast last year.
Clark Barlowe, chef-owner of Heirloom, took to Instagram to air his grievances with the James Beard Foundation’s choices and to look towards next year’s possibilities. So, Charlotte, spread the news, shoutâ€”or tweetâ€”from the tops of buildings about your most amazing dinners and make sure that the rest of the country, especially the judges in New York, realize how special CLT’sÂ eating landscape is.